I think I qualify as a veteran broadcaster, having been on the radio and TV since the age of 20 in 1981.
My career began as a dog’s body at BBC Radio Lincolnshire, joining Radio Trent and Leicester Sound in 1984, moving to the oldies station GEM AM.
I also had a parallel career in TV as one of the main announcers on Central TV in the Midlands on weekdays and for London Weekend Television.
I retired from TV in 2002 and popped up at Saga Radio. Once again corporate nonsense got in the way of great radio and I left. Quality radio with mature professional presenters and the greatest music ever recorded was a thing of the past, until now!
In the last two decades, I have been everywhere as a broadcaster and voiceover artist. I’ve explained the delights of Gatwick Airport on its transit train and described the shops in lifts in UK and Dubai shopping centres, been the voice of three national TV stations and for BFBS TV around the world.
My first love is radio. From 2002, I’ve hosted all manner of programmes for the BBC, and continue today.
I love the intimacy of radio and of music radio, the way it used to be – with real songs from artists and composers. I have interviewed many great names for the world of music but my two favourites have to be Andy Williams and the great Tony Bennett.
FRIDAY 9.0 PM
When I was five I demanded a microphone for Christmas. When it came, Dad plugged it into the ‘pick up’ sockets on the back of his Ekco wireless set in the living room. He then unfurled the long, twisted two-stranded cable, with the mic on the other end, all the way to the kitchen. From here, with great enthusiasm, I broadcast my own ‘BBC’ programmes, interspersed with chasms of ‘dead air’ as I ran backwards and forwards into the living room to check reception. Thus was the passion for radio firmly established.
When I grew up, the career opportunities that arose usually involved voice, music, audio processing, and media production and presentation skills. But never quite radio. I had to wait until 2010 when I was the co-founder of a community radio station in Lincoln. Not only did this allow me to produce commercials and idents but also to work as a regular daytime presenter.
Better was to follow. In 2017, I discovered Serenade Radio, broadcasting quality music with a very high standard of presentation. Imagine my delight when Andy Marriott invited me to join the team. The result: ‘Crooners Club’ and ‘Music Cavalcade’.
From twisted cable to cyberspace, the dream held. Almost left it too late, but not quite!
Cindy used to perform with Birmingham-based folk band The Settlers, who recorded the familiar theme from TV’s Follyfoot.
Since leaving the band in 1973, Cindy has enjoyed an extraordinarily eclectic career. – working for the BBC, LBC, Capital and Premier Christian Radio, and – since 2008 – has been an ordained priest: the Rev. Cindy Kent MBE!
Now you can hear Cindy on Serenade (that’s got a nice ring to it!) every Saturday afternoon.
I was born in Shropshire in 1943. My jobs have ranged from teaching to clerical work to finance – but my life-long interest has been light music. I’m a member of the Light Music Society and the London Light Music Meetings Group.
I’m also the author of a book on my favourite radio programme of the 50s and 60s, ‘Those Were the Days’, a programme of old time dances played by Harry Davidson and His Orchestra, and broadcast twice weekly on the BBC Home Service.
The Light Programme on a Sunday evening on Serenade is all about your kind of light orchestral music . We’re a very broad church – and I’m passionate about representing all strands of this genre.
I’ve been part of radio for over 30 years, starting on short wave around the world – broadcasting from my garage with egg boxes on the walls to dull the sound. From there, I was so happy to join WABC, from Co Donegal in Ireland.
Returning to England I found an oldies station that I loved – and I was lucky to join the team which started my true radio career there before moving to Signal Radio in Stoke on Trent and then to 13 years at BBC Radio Shropshire .
I now own a luxury Bed & Breakfast close to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.
SATURDAY 8.0 PM
In 2001, I presented a short business report for my local commercial radio station – little realising this would be the start of a glittering career that would see me working as a newsreader and presenter in exotic and glamorous locations like Basingstoke, Guildford and Ipswich.
One ambition was left unfulfilled. Years of crawling around the floors of charity shops to find the records had left me with two things; dodgy knees and a love of instrumental music. My record collection was filled with names like James Last, Percy Faith, Ronnie Aldrich (with his two pianos) and many others who may not be as well known, but are equally talented. I wanted to do a show that featured the music I was passionate about – and then came Serenade Radio.
The first Dinner At Eight went out on day one of Serenade Radio, and I’ve been very proud to be part of it.
I was born at a very early age in 1950 and 27 years later at the age of 27 (I was always good at maths) I decided to dabble in broadcasting after being influenced by Noel Edmonds when he was The Breakfast Show presenter on BBC Radio 1 – yes, I was once young enough to listen to R1 and know what they were playing!
In 1977 I joined Hospital Radio Stafford where I probably caused many a relapse, and then in 1979 I had my big break and joined Beacon Radio in Wolverhampton. For the next five years, I also annoyed other parts of the West Midlands via Mercia Sound and BBC Radio Stoke until in 1984 I was dragged kicking and screaming into the studio of BBC Radio 2 in Broadcasting House, London, where the whole nation and beyond had to endure me on The Weekend Early Show.
When Saga launched a station for the West Midlands I was invited to join the team and worked alongside Peter Tomlinson, Brian Savin, John Darvall, Jane Markham and Andy Marriott. You may have heard of one or two of them! Eventually Saga morphed into Smooth Radio and all things changed (we all left!).
At that point in 2004 I was quite determined never to broadcast again as I’d done all I wanted to do, but then I discovered Serenade Radio. Radio like it used to be in the good old days before the marketing men and accountants took hold!
I’ll be here every weekday between 1 and 3 with a couple of hours of relaxing music, and it’d be nice to have your company.
My years in broadcasting began at the BBC in London in film editing. However, my passion has always been radio and in the early 70s I became a lowly station assistant at BBC Radio Birmingham, now Radio WM, and was then the first voice on BRMB, where I stayed for almost twenty-five years.
I left to form my own production company, which I still run, and even found the time to be Programme Director at Saga’s short-lived West Midlands station, with the easy-listening music and that’s just the sort of music you can now hear on my programme on Serenade Radio.
My love affair with radio began when I was given a crystal set as a Christmas present. I would listen each night – long after I was supposed to be asleep – to Radio Luxembourg and the BBC Light Programme.
In my teens, I became a volunteer at hospital radio in Birmingham, so joining the team at Serenade, where everyone gives freely of their time for the sheer love of the music and the medium, means my career has come full circle.
Along the way, over more than 50 years, I have worked in radio and TV in the UK and Ireland. My career has included sports, politics and news programmes, but the fun and pleasure of playing music has always been a great joy.
Sharing the music that great composers and artists have taken such time to craft and record is what Serenade Radio is all about. The Great American Songbook is a particular personal favourite, featuring songs written by the likes of George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Johnny Mercer, and recorded by stars such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat “King” Cole and Tony Bennett. At the weekend on Serenade Radio you can join me to delight in those great singers with great songs.
SUNDAY 11.o PM
WEDNESDAY 9.0 PM
My love of jazz goes back to even before my teenage years. It continued, even defying and aunt’s prediction that I would ‘grow out of it’. I never have. I wanted to be involved in radio ever since I was very young but opportunities to work in radio didn’t come along very often. So when one did, it was a chance I had to take! I suppose I ran away to join the circus! Since then I have presented programmes across the board but whenever there was the chance to play jazz, I was at the front of the queue. Now, with a large personal collection of jazz tracks on all kinds of media, from 78s to LPs to CDs and even downloads all just waiting to be shared, playing them on Serenade Radio is a must. I have presented jazz shows on radio for nearly 40 years – and it’s still enjoyable fun.
Having blagged my way in with no background in ‘meeja’ whatsoever but a lot of naive confidence, I was lucky enough to start my broadcasting career with the, sadly no longer, London Weekend Television back in the 80s.
By the time I finished live TV announcing in 2008, I was the longest serving female TV announcer in the UK, having said ‘coming up next’ for LWT, ITV, Channel 5, BBC World, BSB Galaxy, Super Channel, TVS, West Country and The Family Channel. I’ve also been been a ‘station voice’ for many radio stations across the UK.
I work on live events too and was the live Announcer for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Asian Games in Doha, Qatar; the London 2012 Olympics & Paralympics and more recently the First European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.
SUNDAY 10.0 AM
When I won a cup for verse speaking at the age of 8 I had no idea that my voice would be my fortune! It depends how you define ‘fortune’ but in the last 20 years or so my voice has taken me from newsreading at Newsbeat to presenting at Classic FM, from voicing radio commercials to reading audio books.
WEEKENDS 9.0 PM
Greetings from Palm Springs, California!
I am honoured to be part of the Serenade Radio family and this legendary music. It is a thrill for me to bring my show to listeners from the Playground of the Stars. Many of the artists you hear on Serenade Radio had homes here in the desert which makes this a very special experience for me.
A native of Palm Springs, California, I grew up in San Diego and later returned to the warm breezes of this desert paradise. I’ve been very fortunate during my radio career to have worked at two heritage stations, one in San Diego and the other here in Palm Springs. I’ve had the privilege of sharing this wonderful music with a wide audience and love keeping it alive for all generations to hear.
WEEKENDS 7.30 AM
SATURDAY 11.0 PM
It all started at an early age- mesmerised as a toddler by the family’s reel-to-reel tape recorder whose spools unwound the sounds of Bert Kaempfert with his plunky basslines, jazzy Ella Fitzgerald and Petula Clark with her mysterious plea about not sleeping in the subway darling.
These were among many musical delights illicitly recorded from the Light Programme whilst Auntie BBC had her back turned.
Fast-forward to the mid-1990s revival of interest in ‘lounge music’ and I found myself writing regular pieces in Record Collector magazine on the subject. Now, it’s a delight to be able to play the very best.
My experience in radio is mainly limited to running a radio station. Being front of house so to speak is a relatively new experience, but at long last I am part of a group of great presenters bringing to you the sounds I would love to have presided over in the banal world of commercial radio. In my dotage I can at last relax, listen to, and present the music which has truly been the most formative, enjoyable, evocative and meaningful of my life. Serenade Radio, my life, my music!
THURSDAY 9.0 PM
I’ve been in broadcasting, somewhat fitfully, since my debut in the “Young DJ” slot on Capital Radio’s children’s show “Hullabaloo” at the age of fourteen. These days I live in remote rural northern New Hampshire, which is very beautiful but a bit sparse on the musical front. So it is a thrill to be part of such a fantastic radio station from thousands of miles away. These are the songs I have always loved, with glorious melodies and well-crafted lyrics. I’ve written a couple of books on the subject, and had the privilege of knowing many of the men and women from that golden generation who wrote the Serenade playlist. And, as someone who once hosted a fairly appalling musical quiz show on Radio Two without ever really making it at that station, it is a great honour to follow “Sing Something Simple” every Sunday.
THURSDAY 9.0 PM
I grew up in Plymouth where my fascination with radio began. If I’d been a little braver I might have run away to sea to join the Pirates but as it was the first radio station to put me behind a microphone was WCHS Charleston West Virginia, where I wandered in off the street with my English accent and Liverpool connections and that seemed to do the trick.
I’ve splashed about in the shallow end of radio for many years – and it’s real honour to be asked to join such a fine band of broadcasters here at Serenade Radio where I’ll be bringing you the wonderful music of The Dance Band Days. Outside radio, I play in a folk-rock band, I’ve have sung in a barbershop chorus and I’m now a member of Nottingham Playhouse Choir. Life is never dull!
TUESDAY 9.0 PM
In my days as a young BBC Light Programme producer, little did I imagine that more than 50 years later, I’d be part of something akin to Serenade Radio.
I went on to be Controller of Radio 1, with its weekly audience of 19m – and even conceived the famous Radio 1 roadshow. My book ‘Radio 1-The Inside Scene’ tells of its story.
Now, life turns full circle and I’m on Serenade Radio each week, playing the music I truly love in my Big Band Special – revelling in the likes of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Ted Heath.
My radio career began in 1991 on KPCC, a public radio station in Pasadena, California, with a weekly hour of theatre pipe entertainment. What fun that was!
In 1995, I returned to London with my new wife, a professional mezzo-contralto, before moving again in 2004 to Almeria, Spain. It was there that I hatched the idea for a vintage jazz era programme on the local Brit station.
During that time, Hot Pipes was born, airing a very under-represented musical niche with a wide variety of tracks from far and wide. I now spend most of my free time restoring music, and CD mastering, while also keeping a hand in my career skills – photography and graphics.